We have a favorite restaurant in St. Louis (the Demun Oyster Bar) and their cocktail list is pretty impressive. My favorite - I may or may not have been sucked in by the cute name - is the French 75, a pretty little cocktail I was thrilled to learn is nice and simple to make at home. I even made them when we had friends in town for a wedding a few weekends ago and despite the girly appearance the guys all loved them as well - the cocktail actually originated in Paris in the 20s (when champagne was all the rage) and it was sort of a manlier spin on a glass of bubbly. I like to serve it in a coupe or cocktail glass, Goodwill has tons of pretty vintage ones, but a flute is also fine.
This is a great one to serve at a party, you could easily pre-mix a few and they're so easy to make you don't have to miss out on the party trying to play hostess.
1 oz gin
1/2 oz simple syrup (if you infuse it with lavender or rosemary it's lovely in this, but not necessary)
1/2 oz lemon juice
Champagne or Prosecco - not sweet
Instructions: Fill a cocktail shaker with ice cubes, pour in gin, simply syrup, and lemon juice and shake vigorously. Strain it in the coupe and top with champagne. Garnish with a lemon twist.
photo credit: elephantine